Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Three Words for the New Year

The start of the New Year is a good time to take stock and think about who you are and what you stand for. I am reminded of this by our daily newspaper, The Record (northern NJ), which publishes their Editorial Credo every year on January 1. Continuing that theme, one of the people I have started following on Twitter is Chris Brogan. In his January 1, 2011, blog he presents his "3 Words for 2011".  Chris has been doing this for several years and inspiring others to also choose their three words. After reading his blog, I thought it was a great idea, but couldn't think of three words. Then this morning, as I was driving to Sunday morning minyan and bagel breakfast at my temple, my words came to me: Caring, Integrity, and Joy.

Caring:  part of what makes me who I am is that I care -- about people, about ideas, about the world around me, about what other people think about me. Sometimes though I forget how important other people are. The other day, while trying to clear up my desk, an old fortune cookie fortune appeared "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting their battle too." So, in 2011 I will remember to care about me and about others. (As a start, no more snarky comments, at least not in public). And there will be another blog on this, our Rabbi spoke about "you don't know what you don't know" about other people; always give them the benefit of the doubt.

Integrity:  just as The Record reiterates who they are and what they stand for, I too must stand for something. Integrity is being truthful, being loyal, doing the right thing, for yourself and for others. These past few years I have been drifting away from who I am, which is why I'm in the midst of a journey to find myself again. Partially it is spiritual (one of the reasons I went to temple this morning, I am making a real effort to be more involved on a regular basis). And it's also physical. After being a gym junkie for several years and being in the best physical shape I'd ever been in, I didn't just slide, I fell hard. So, I am starting to reclaim my body. Shoveling two feet of snow last week reminded me of how good it feels to use your muscles (as well as reminding me of how bad you feel when you're out-of-shape). In 2011, I will work on re-centering myself, because you can't be true to others if you're not true to yourself.

Joy: the world has become a very scary place, but if you always dwell on that it can overwhelm you. I know that life isn't always fun. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy what you're doing. I have become better at letting things go, not always having to fight the good fight. But I need to do that more, to look for the good in things and people. And I can help bring more joy to other people, particularly my family. In 2011, I will remember to enjoy what I'm doing, to look for the silver linings, and to try to bring joy to others.

Having taken these three words on as my guide for 2011 and, just as importantly, putting them out there, I have made a commitment. I will follow-up throughout the year and let you know how I'm doing. In the meantime, have you chosen your three words?